Mark Lynas, the climate activist who once threw a custard pie into the face of Bjorn "Skeptical Environmentalist" Lomborg, has found himself under fire from other climate activists.
Earlier this week it emerged that a report on renewable energy for the IPCC had drawn heavily on an earlier paper authored by Greenpeace activist and staffer Sven Tenske, together with a lobby for the renewable energy industry called the European Renewable Energy Council. Tenske ended up as a lead author on the IPCC's report too, and in an astonishing coincidence, ended up making the same recommendations.
Both claimed that "close to 80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies". According to its charter the UN's IPCC is supposed to provide neutral assessments of scientific evidence, and avoid reflecting the views of political activists and lobbyists.
Mark Lynas called foul, saying the reliance on such a tainted and obvious source of propaganda damaged the cause of activists.
"The IPCC must urgently review its policies for hiring lead authors – and I would have thought that not only should biased ‘grey literature’ be rejected, but campaigners from NGOs should not be allowed to join the lead author group and thereby review their own work.
"There is even a commercial conflict of interest here given that the renewables industry stands to be the main beneficiary of any change in government policies based on the IPCC report’s conclusions. Had it been an oil industry intervention which led the IPCC to a particular conclusion, Greenpeace et al would have course have been screaming blue murder," wrote Lynas.
"I don’t want recycled campaign reports masquerading as ‘proper’ science leading the assessed scenarios – and the media – because their originator has managed to lever himself into a pole position on the team of lead authors. That stinks," he added in an update.
"It stinks doubly because the Greenpeace report was originally co-authored by the European Renewable Energy Council – an industry lobby group whose prospects depend on state subsidies which can be expected to be further increased once its views are given the ‘official’ stamp of approval from the IPCC."
After coming under fire from other activists including the WWF, who think it's a good thing for the IPCC to use literature put together by activists (including the WWF) Lynas concludes:
"[I]f the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’".